The Marlow Review is here to stay: A statement from the CEO

by Clarissa Williams

For most of my peers, the thought of working in journalism probably wasn’t at the top of their list, but I instantly fell in love with writing.

Learning how to write, identify opportunities for the community, and being a watchdog journalist was so inspiring to me. From my first published article to being named General Manager and growing in my career, I have been afforded so many adventures.

I have always loved working in community journalism—being able to tell your stories in only the way a great newspaper can. We are different from untested, untrusted social media sources; we are a news source.

Newspapers tell the story in a way you can only find in print, a format that lends itself to an online persona as well. I want to be honest and tell you the story of the Marlow Review and what has led us to where we are now. A Proud Heritage – A Bright Future greets readers every week for the Marlow Review, and it will continue to do so.

Not many businesses can say they have been around for 132 years.

As CEO and Owner of this publication, it is my intent to see it continue to produce quality content, inspire readers, educate, and inform our community for many years to come. Addressing issues firsthand wasn’t always in my nature.

As a shy teenager, I absolutely hated public speaking and avoided conflict with everything in me.

Through my journey, I developed skills that helped me engage others in meaningful conversations. Over the course of my career, I’ve been afforded countless opportunities that gave me an environment to practice speaking and sharing my thoughts.

It was in these settings that I learned the value of speaking with kindness and clarity. Learning to effectively communicate in various situations has helped me face a lot of scrutiny—from having my tires slashed as a journalist to standing up for my staff in the face of opposition and covering national politics with a fair and balanced approach.

Moreover, my faith has also equipped me with tools to handle different types of confrontations. As a Christian, my faith provides me with a sense of purpose and an understanding that sometimes, confrontation is necessary for growth and resolution.

Focusing on Christian principles such as empathy, humility, and compassion, were useful skills over the past month and a half. I try to listen actively, seek common ground, and approach disagreements with a spirit of reconciliation.

These skills have not only helped me navigate personal conflicts but have also enhanced my relationships and interactions in all areas of my life. The journey from a shy teenager to a confident individual has been transformative, driven by the growth in my faith and the lessons it imparted.

Over the last two weeks, my team and I have spoken with readers, subscribers, elected officials, advertisers, and vendor locations where you can buy a copy of the Marlow Review if you do not subscribe.

We have dispelled rumors that we were going to cease operations.

I want to set the record straight. Rising postage costs and other uncontrollable factors hit us hard in addition to the price of inflation. Journalism isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you love it, live it, and breathe it, you understand the importance of it and the impact it has on its community.

I want to continue to produce a quality publication and will not give up on Marlow and Stephens County, Oklahoma. We need your support and appreciate you more than you know. It’s humbling to work with business owners who believe in the newspaper and wants to connect with our readers.

No matter how small or large the ad, I am with you in the fight to support local and want to urge everyone reading this to truly seek your local resources, advertisers, and non-advertisers alike.

They are the lifeblood of any community. Soon we will introduce our new team to you.

Currently, we are seeking a reporter who will work with our Regional Editor, Charles Gerian. Charles is located in Blackwell, Oklahoma, and is phenomenal.

Is this a perfect situation? No, it isn’t. He has driven three hours the last couple of weeks several times to capture the essence of Marlow and ensure the newspaper didn’t close or cease operations. For that, I am so thankful. Tina Anderson is also in Blackwell as our Regional Publisher.

She and I have worked together for many years, and she understands the business side of newspapers well. We’ve had to take a hard look at how we put the news out, gather the news, and design the Marlow Review.

Our production team, made up of Liane Lagtapon and Karen Tate have been so attentive to try to make sure we didn’t miss a beat. Liane, you are fabulous; we are blessed to have you on the team. Karen thank you for your leadership.

Jennifer McKinney and Sheri Ray work here in Tennessee with me in our home office and have been wonderful in helping customers. We are not a huge corporate office with an Ivory Tower, we are small but mighty in a David and Goliath story to keep our newspapers relevant.

A huge thank you to the Oklahoma Press Association and specifically to Wilma Newby, who helped keep our office open. Thank you to Judy Keller for your knowledge and helping in a variety of ways. All of you are the epitome of teamwork and keeping the dream of local news alive.

I welcome a phone call or email but love handwritten letters. Yes, I am nostalgic. I am a glass-half-full person and believe our newspaper is going to make a comeback. My husband, Herbert, and I have made a capital investment to bring a new podcast/YouTube channel to our readers, you will learn more about that in the coming months.

We will embrace technology but believe in the power of print, and we believe in you, Marlow. I’ve often said, “We may not agree on everything politically, spiritually, or even what makes a news story important, but we can agree to disagree while being civil. I will respect you as a reader.”

To the elected officials, readers and advertisers that have reached out to me directly, your encouragement has made a huge difference.

I thank you and will work hard to earn and keep your trust. I’ve enjoyed taking garage sale ads from those of you who wanted to make sure you got your ad in the paper.

If you are not a subscriber or advertiser, I would love to have your subscription and support in continuing to bring your local news. If you have a news tip or local photos

or an event we should know about, please let us know.

We want to include your news in every issue.

As Paul Harvey often said, “Now you know the rest of the story."

Clarissa Williams … Good day

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